Week 16 Game Scripts to Target in Daily Fantasy Football
Welcome to the Game Scripts to Target article for the 2021 season. Each week, we'll be taking a look at specific games to target for daily fantasy tournaments. Stacking games has always been a popular option in GPPs, as it allows you to reach for upside with the back-and-forth scoring.
Dissecting game scripts should be a huge part of your process when building lineups in NFL daily fantasy.
How will the game play out? Will it be high-paced with lots of potential for fantasy points to be scored? Does it set up well for one team, both teams, or neither? A running back could go from a lock one week as a home favorite to a complete avoid the next as a double-digit road underdog because the expected game scripts in these contests are completely different.
Projecting these outcomes can be extremely difficult for one person. We can use the lines and totals to see what oddsmakers think and go from there. A great resource is numberFire's Daily Fantasy Matchup Heat Map, which provides betting-related numbers -- implied totals, over/unders, and spreads -- as well as custom metrics that show how the teams will match up against each other. This gives us a much better handle on how games are likely to play out, and we can take advantage of that in our lineups.
Let's look at some game scripts to target for this week.
Los Angeles Rams at Minnesota Vikings
With a slate-high 49.5-point over/under, this is the first spot to look for a potential game stack this week.
Not only is the 49.5-point over/under the highest on the slate -- it's the highest by 4.0 points, slotting it at the top of the list by a good margin. We also see both teams in the top half of the league in offensive pace, putting this game in a spot to see plenty of plays and plenty of fantasy points for all involved.
The big news for this game is that Minnesota Vikings' running back, Dalvin Cook has been placed in the league's COVID protocols and is out. This means we will be seeing Alexander Mattison ($5,500) get the start and likely wind up being one of the most popular players on the slate.
We'll stick with the Vikings, who are coming off a lackluster win against the Chicago Bears where none of their players posted anything close to big outputs. Prior to that, Kirk Cousins ($7,300) had been consistent, posting 16 or more FanDuel points in six straight games, with at least two passing touchdowns in each. Given his modest salary, there's a case to be made for Cousins this week.
The other injury note for this game is about Adam Thielen ($7,200), who has missed each of the past two games with an ankle injury but is inching closer to a return. Thielen has the second-highest (21.3%) target share on the team and the third-highest (23.3%) red-zone target share. This would be a significant boost to the Vikings' passing game and the game environment overall.
If Thielen doesn't play, we can look to K.J. Osborn ($6,000) as a potential option to differentiate the game stacks. He has 12 targets over the past two games with Thielen out but has a low 7.2% red-zone target share overall on the season. We all know that Justin Jefferson ($8,400) is by far the best option on the Vikings, but that should also make him the chalky play.
A Vikings-led stack of Cousins plus Mattison and Jefferson would account for the majority of Minnesota's offense but also should be very popular. This could change if we see Thielen active for this game, which would present another possible variation of a Vikings' stack.
With the third-highest (26.25) implied team total, the Los Angeles Rams are going to be a top target for many -- with or without a game stack. They have the fifth-highest scoring offense in the league and always have the potential for fantasy upside.
Matthew Stafford ($7,900) has posted at least three passing touchdowns in three of his last four games. He's put up at least 22 FanDuel points in each of those three games and is one of the top options at quarterback this week. The Vikings are allowing the fourth-most (19.7) FanDuel points per game to signal-callers this season, putting Stafford in an elite matchup.
I'm not sure what else needs to be said about the number-one overall fantasy wide receiver this year, but you should play him this week. Of course, I'm talking about Cooper Kupp ($9,800), who is putting together one of the most impressive fantasy seasons we have seen from a wide receiver.
He has double-digit targets in 13 out of 14 games, has gone for more than 100 yards in nine of 13 games, and has 14 total touchdowns. On top of all of that, he gets to take on the Vikings, who are giving up the most FanDuel points (34.8) per game to wide receivers. To say this is a good spot for Kupp is an understatement. Play Cooper Kupp this week. Full stop.
Since being traded to the Rams, Odell Beckham ($6,600) has a 15.9% target share, a solid 13.0 average depth of target (aDOT), and a 16.0% red zone target share. Van Jefferson ($6,300) has been comparable to OBJ in that time with a 16.5% target share, a 13.7 aDOT, and a 24.0% red zone target share. They are both in a great spot, and you'll likely be rostering just one of them since you should prioritize Kupp as the top option. It's a coinflip, but I'll take Jefferson.
After last week, the Rams' backfield is looking less than appealing for any type of fantasy relevance. Sony Michel ($6,900) out-snapped Darrell Henderson ($6,900) 73% to 27% and out-touched him 20-8. The matchup is no doubt a great one since the Vikings allow the 11th-most (21.3) FanDuel points per game to running backs, but it's tough to trust Henderson or Michel over the other unless we get an updated report from prior to the start of the game.
The Rams will no doubt be more popular, and a stack of Stafford-Kupp plus one of Beckham or Jefferson will likely be popular. You can then look to use Jefferson as the bring-back stacking option, and that leaves you with about $5,500 remaining per player. This is actually very doable this week given the value options we have on the slate.
If you are willing to roll the dice a bit more, you can look to roster either Michel or Henderson in the stack along with mixing in Thielen (if he plays) or Osborn. The Vikings should also be less popular, so going to them as the primary stack would allow you to be different while saving some salary for the rest of your lineup.